Twenty two new working peers will join the House of Lords. Photo: AFP
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Dame Gail Rebuck, widow of Philip Gould, announced as new Labour peer

Twenty two new peers announced.

Dame Gail Rebuck, the widow of Labour peer Philip Gould, has been selected by Labour to become a working peer.

The chair of Penguin Random House UK, Dame Gail was voted the 10th most powerful woman in the UK by Radio 4's Woman's House last year. Made a dame in 2009, she will now join the Lords, to which her late husband was elevated in 2004.

Gould, who died in 2011, was an aide to Tony Blair and one of the principle architects of the New Labour political project.

Michael Cashman, a former Eastenders actor, has also been nominated by Labour for a peerage.

The announcement today of the latest round of working peers sees 22 titles bestowed by the Queen.

Twelve peers have been appointed by the Tories, six by the Lib Dems, three by Labour and one by the Democratic Unionist Party.

Accusations of cronyism have already been thrown at the Conservatives, as details of the plan to ennoble key donor Michael Farmer, a City financier, were leaked last week. Former M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose and football executive Karren Brady have also been nominated.

Before today, David Cameron had already named 161 new peers since 2010. The new appointments have come amid a row that the House of Lords is becoming over crowded and too expensive.

New figures revealed earlier this week showed that expenses claimed by members of the Lords have risen by more than £4 million since the government came to power. Peers’ allowances have increased from £17.2m before the 2010 election to £21.6m.

Former Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd complained this week that the Lords was becoming overcrowded and urged older peers to bow out.

New rules passed this year allow peers to retire permanently from the House for the first time.

Boothroyd said: “It is so overcrowded that there is enough space for only about two thirds of us in the chamber itself.”

Speaking on Radio 4’s World at One on Monday, she added: “It is appalling. All prime ministers are very keen to put a lot of new members in here so that they can get their legislation through.”

 

The full list of new working peers is below.

 

Conservative Party

Karren Brady CBE – Vice-Chairman of West Ham FC; Senior Non-Executive Director of the Syco and Arcadia Brands; Small Business Ambassador for the Conservative Party; and member of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Women in Sport Advisory Board.

Martin Callanan – former Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the North East of England; former Leader of the Conservative MEPs and of the European Conservatives and Reformists group.

Carlyn Chisholm – Senior volunteer in the Conservative Party; Co-Chairman of the Conservative Candidate’s Committee; former nurse.

Andrew Cooper – Former Director of Political Operations to the Conservative Party; founder and Board Director of Populus.

Natalie Evans – Director of New Schools Network, an independent educational charity established to provide free advice and support for groups wanting to set up free schools.

Michael Farmer – Founding Partner of RK Mine Finance Group; Trustee of the Kingham Hill Trust; Treasurer of the Conservative Party.

Dido Harding – Chief Executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC.

Arminka Helic – Government Special Adviser; leading adviser to Government on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Nosheena Mobarik CBE – Businesswomen; former Chairman of CBI Scotland; founder and Convener of the Scotland Pakistan Network; Chairman of the Pakistan Britain Trade and Investment Forum.

Sir Stuart Rose – Former Chief Executive and Chairman of Marks and Spencer PLC.

Joanna Shields OBE – leading technology industry executive and entrepreneur; the Prime Minister’s Digital Adviser; Chair of Tech City UK; and Non-Executive Director of the London Stock Exchange.

Ranbir Suri – businessman; former General Secretary of the Board of British Sikhs.

 

Labour Party

Michael Cashman CBE – Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands constituency; equality rights campaigner; former actor.

Chris Lennie – political strategist; former Deputy Secretary General of the Labour Party.

Dame Gail Rebuck – businesswoman, publisher, chairman of Penguin Random House UK

 

Liberal Democrat Party

Chris Fox - Director of Group Communications for GKN; former Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats.

Cllr David Goddard – elected Member of Stockport Metropolitan Council; former Leader of Stockport Council; former Member of the Greater Manchester Police Authority; former Non-Executive Director of Manchester International Airport.

Cllr Barbara Janke – elected Member and former Leader of Bristol City Council; former teacher.

Cllr Kath Pinnock – elected Member and former Leader of Kirklees Council.

Paul Scriven – managing partner for Scriven Consulting; former elected Member and Leader of Sheffield City Council; former senior NHS manager.

Cllr Dr Julie Smith – elected Member of Newnham City Council; Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at Cambridge University; Fellow of Robinson College.

 
Democratic Unionist Party

William Hay MLA – Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, who has elected to sit on the crossbenches.

Lucy Fisher writes about politics and is the winner of the Anthony Howard Award 2013. She tweets @LOS_Fisher.

 

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I believe only Yvette Cooper has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy Corbyn

All the recent polling suggests Andy Burnham is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy Corbyn, says Diana Johnson MP.

Tom Blenkinsop MP on the New Statesman website today says he is giving his second preference to Andy Burnham as he thinks that Andy has the best chance of beating Jeremy.

This is on the basis that if Yvette goes out first all her second preferences will swing behind Andy, whereas if Andy goes out first then his second preferences, due to the broad alliance he has created behind his campaign, will all or largely switch to the other male candidate, Jeremy.

Let's take a deep breath and try and think through what will be the effect of preferential voting in the Labour leadership.

First of all, it is very difficult to know how second preferences will switch. From my telephone canvassing there is some rather interesting voting going on, but I don't accept that Tom’s analysis is correct. I have certainly picked up growing support for Yvette in recent weeks.

In fact you can argue the reverse of Tom’s analysis is true – Andy has moved further away from the centre and, as a result, his pitch to those like Tom who are supporting Liz first is now narrower. As a result, Yvette is more likely to pick up those second preferences.

Stats from the Yvette For Labour team show Yvette picking up the majority of second preferences from all candidates – from the Progress wing supporting Liz to the softer left fans of Jeremy – and Andy's supporters too. Their figures show many undecideds opting for Yvette as their first preference, as well as others choosing to switch their first preference to Yvette from one of the other candidates. It's for this reason I still believe only Yvette has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy and then to go on to win in 2020.

It's interesting that Andy has not been willing to make it clear that second preferences should go to Yvette or Liz. Yvette has been very clear that she would encourage second preferences to be for Andy or Liz.

Having watched Andy on Sky's Murnaghan show this morning, he categorically states that Labour will not get beyond first base with the electorate at a general election if we are not economically credible and that fundamentally Jeremy's economic plans do not add up. So, I am unsure why Andy is so unwilling to be clear on second preferences.

All the recent polling suggests Andy is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy. He trails fourth in London – where a huge proportion of our electorate is based.

So I would urge Tom to reflect more widely on who is best placed to provide the strongest opposition to the Tories, appeal to the widest group of voters and reach out to the communities we need to win back. I believe that this has to be Yvette.

The Newsnight focus group a few days ago showed that Yvette is best placed to win back those former Labour voters we will need in 2020.

Labour will pay a massive price if we ignore this.

Diana Johnson is the Labour MP for Hull North.